This week’s Schmoth: WRITER
I’m curious what you all would write about this. How you see this
word, how you see it fitting into your life, if you consider yourself
one, which ones you idolize, which ones you hate, which one’s you
write like. Maybe you’d write about the writer’s responsibility, maybe
you’d write about the freedom of the writer, or maybe the shackles.
So there you go, my friends. Have at it.
Same rules. Post it by Wednesday. I’ll check sometime that day and
then put it up.
See you in a few.
— Edren Sumagaysay
The Undeniables’ Writers Workshop
When I first realized I wanted to be a “writer,” it was a like secret I kept all these years and refused to admit to myself. And when I finally did admit, it became a slow process of unraveling. It was as if I were looking at my body in the mirror and shocked at view of my hands, with my eyes widened with an existential bewilderment. The day I told myself I wanted to be a writer was a confession. A small, unraveling confession. But, it wasn’t like looking at my reflection for the first time and realizing it was me– no, that’s a realization, an epiphany, not a confession. Rather, It was like looking at my external body and realizing that everything–the brown skin, the round eyes, the black hair–were of me. Writing was, always, a part of me. For all my life, I have written my emotions down in order to cope with whatever circumstances I dealt with. In the first grade, I wrote a brief essay entitled, “I’m So Only,” which was an unfortunate and funny misspelling of I’m So Lonely. I wrote it for a class assignment. When I was first given the assignment, the teacher told us to write about “our family” and subsequently handed us a little piece of lined paper that had a mother and child caricature printed on the top right. In my little, first-grade mind, I looked at the mother and child and wrote, “I’m So Only” next to them, as if to confess to them that I wished I were like them. My mother had left years before my first grade, when I was two years old, but her missing presence in my young life only fueled my emotions. I needed to connect with something, someone, and thus, I found myself writing that sad, little essay on my broken, only family. The first time I read my little essay aloud, my cousin laughed until he was blue in the face when he heard me say my spelling mistake. It was a traumatic experience for a girl. Throughout the years, I wrote small poems to myself and never read them aloud, because I was afraid of their artistic merit. But I realized at a young age that writing isn’t as exclusive as it seemed to be and that the sharing of literature is as important as the craft of it. And so, when I told myself in my sophomore year of college that I no longer wanted to prance around the idea of being a journalist or a lawyer, I sat in fear, in front of that mirror, when I mouthed the words: “I want to be a writer.”
I’m still a sensitive little girl that doesn’t think she could be a writer. I, sincerely, want to be. But, because of the wonderful words of Ira Glass on storytelling, I realize that it’s okay if I fall a little. It’s okay if I fail a little. It’s okay if I fail. The process of writing, and of storytelling, is just that– it’s a process, a craft, something that needs trials and errors, failures and dreams.